According to projections from the World Population Review (WPR) India may have already surpassed China as the world’s most populous country. India’s population was 141.7 crore as of the end of 2022. That’s a little more than 50 lakh more than the 141.2 crore declared by China on January 17, when there was the first fall since the 1960s, according to official announcements.
India, where half the population is under the age of 30, is set to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the coming years. To make the most of the demographic dividend, the government needs to create jobs for the millions of people entering the workforce every year as the nation moves away from farm jobs.
The United Nations had expected the milestone to be reached later this year. As of Jan. 18, India’s population had already climbed to 1.423 billion, according to WPR.
Another estimate by research platform Macrotrends puts the latest number for India at 1.428 billion. The country didn’t publish its once-in-a-decade census data in 2021, after deferring population surveys due to pandemic disruptions.
India is also adding 86,000 to its population daily as against China’s 49,400. A fourth of India’s population is under the age of 15, while more than half is below the age of 30. Only a fourth of China’s population is under the age of 25. India’s median age is 28.4 years, while China’s is 38.4 years. In 2020, around 67 per cent of India’s population was in the working group compared to 64.9 per cent for China.
India is projected to have a population of 1.66 billion by 2050.
Between 2023 and 2050, India will provide more than a sixth of the increase of the world’s working-age population (15- to 64).
India will be among the eight countries – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania – accounting for more than half the global population increase by 2050.
Swedish physician and academic Hans Rosling put the world’s current “pin code” at 1114.
Rosling explained this meant there are around 1 billion people in the Americas, Europe and Africa and four billion in Asia.
By 2050, the “pin code” will be 1145 with four billion in Africa and five billion in Asia, Rosling explained.